The Ridges Landowners Association

A residential community just outside Santa Fe, NM


Community news and updates

November 2022 Newsletter

From the RIDGES
Your community newsletter


The Ridges Landowners’ Association, Inc. Notice of Annual Meeting 

Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 3 p.m. 

Vista Grande Public Library
14 Avenida Torreon

Cimarron Development

Here in the Ridges, we enjoy a life that is closer to nature and less commercial than that of residents in town.  But that may be about to change, and we can’t afford to be complacent about the development of Cimarron Village.  There was a public notice meeting on September 9 led by Danny Martinez, Land Development spokesperson.  He stipulated that the development was integral to the plan for Santa Fe and that they have been working on this particular plan for six years.  There are plans for 17 acres of commercial development south of 25 and east of Highway 285, and although Mr. Martinez assured those attending the meeting that there would not be a gas station, liquor store, or marijuana dispensary in the proposals, there are 75 housing units planned (including 17 independent living apartments for seniors) and possibly a hotel, health food store, drugstore, or daycare center.  Other suggestions were for memory care or urgent care businesses, a grocery, or a restaurant.  The residential area would include a self-storage business and an open park area.

Santa Fe County has given a window of March to late summer for developing the area.

There are concerns that the wastewater reuse system may impact two nearby El Dorado Water wells. 

Mr. Martinez kept repeating that everything is for sale, meaning that if the land could be bought to be left as open space, that would be fine.  He mentioned the Commonweal Conservancy as a possible support for this.

How can you get involved?  Come to the next meeting on November 13 at 3 PM in the Max Coll Community Center near the library (16 Avenida Torreon, Eldorado)

Contact Cynthia Weehler of ALL285 at:


285ALL stands for the Highway 285 South Alliance,  “a voice for the neighborhood
& region: an alliance of active residents concerned about inappropriate or irresponsible
development, drought, and water security.” (285ALL Brochure)

Recognizing Ridges Friends in Need

When the Calf Canyon/ Hermit’s Peak fires burned this past spring, many people were forced to evacuate and were desperate to find places to shelter their animals.

Andrea Verswijver answered the call that came out to Christus St Vincent’s, where she works part time as a counselor for domestic violence.  Almost as soon as she offered space in her corral for a few animals, a couple in East Pecos that were evacuating called.   Her rescue animals included one retired stud horse that went by the name of Romeo and two mini bulls that had been used for rodeo training called Plato and Socrates.  The Verswijvers were given bales of hay, but Andrea and Teresa Seamster supplemented the feed and curried Romeo.  All the work required for caring for these animals is huge, much less if you have another full time job.  Hats off to Andrea and Teresa for helping people through a tough patch!

Ridges Photo Submission

Welcome to the Ridges
Agave photo by Roc Curry

Please submit your photos here.

Table of Contents


Cranberry-Walnut Buttermilk Bran Muffins

from Karen Embertson

3 cups unprocessed wheat bran

1 cup boiling water

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup margarine

2-1/2 cups unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups buttermilk

Mix 1 cup wheat bran with 1 cup boiling water; stir and let water absorb into bran.  In a separate bowl blend sugar and margarine.  Measure and mix flour, baking soda and salt.  Combine the moist bran with beaten eggs, the remaining 2 cups of bran, buttermilk, sugar-margarine mixture, and flour-soda-salt. Stir until blended, adding 1/2 cup each chopped fresh cranberries and walnuts until well blended.

Place in refrigerator for future use or bake at once. To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Stir batter well and spoon into prepared muffin tins.  Bake 15 minutes.  Keep remaining mixture in airtight container for 2 to 4 weeks.  Yield: 2 dozen.



You can use pine bark chips around almost all plants. Since these decompose (slowly) they add to the soil structure. That’s a good thing! One drawback of large bark chips is that they are very difficult to walk on.

We plan on placing medium shredded bark onto our veggie garden walkways this year. Smaller shredded bark and compost stick to shoes and may end up in the house via shoes or pets.

Other organic mulches to consider are pine needles, nut hulls, and leaves. Or—you can consider sowing a winter cover crop in areas that are accessible. Before the cover crop goes to seed you will want to cut those. An electric weed whacker works well for such a job as it does for cutting all native grasses.

I am not very fond of rock/gravel or any inorganic mulches because these tend to produce heat islands and do not contribute to soil health. I do like the look of gravel if it is artistically chosen.

We have 2 areas of gravel “mulch”—under an aspen stand and in the Asian garden. Both areas do not get a tremendous amount of sun.

The plants mulched with compost tend to be much happier and require less water.

 Mulch should be at least 2 in. to no more than 3 in. deep and kept 2 in. away from tree trunks. The mulch should extend to the drip line.


Mulch “volcanoes” around tree trunks, shrubs, and plant stems will cause rot, and disease or may make the roots prone to grow into the mulch, possibly girdling and killing the tree.

Santa Fe, City of
73 Paseo Real
Santa Fe, NM 87507

General Information 505-955-4650
Contact: Sherman Bilbo, Compost
Phone: 505-955-4681

Feedstocks: wood chips, biosolids, horse stable bedding
Quantity produced: 30,000-35,000 Cubic Yards per year will eventually be produced Equipment: Roto-Mix, Windrow Turner, Front End Loader, Trommel Screen, Dumptruck Application: Sod in City Parks, Erosion Control, City/County/State Projects, NMDOT Roadside Reclamation, Landscaping companies, Contractors, General Public

The composting operation processes all biosolids with appropriate high-carbon feedstocks to produce a marketable soil conditioner product. (Screened Compost $11.50/cubic yard; Unscreened Compost $9.00/cubic yard; Compost Overs $6.00/cubic yard) 

Meet your Neighbors:
Pete and Mary Stauffer

When you talk to Mary and Pete Stauffer (pronounced Staw-fer) you are struck by how positive this couple is.

Mary and Pete arrived early for their appointment to see the beautiful house that Kathy and Randy Kubes had built at the corner of Principe de Paz and Buen Pastor.  They walked around outside on the paths and got to know the feel of the place, and this meant a lot to Kathy and Randy.  Coming from the Denver metro area, Mary and Pete had visited New Mexico often, enjoying the hiking, biking, and skiing here, as well as the food! 

Mary is a semi-retired groundwater hydrologist, while Pete does consulting as a soils engineer.  They have both already used their expertise to help with the Conservation Task Force and the Roads Committee. 

Mary grew up in West Virginia, while Pete called Littleton, Colorado his childhood home.  But they both fell in love with New Mexico and as Mary says about living in the Ridges:  “I think I’m on vacation”

We are very lucky they chose the Ridges to call home–say hello to them when you see them on their bikes or pitching in to help work on community projects.

Meet your Neighbors:
Mark Reinwald and Mary Robinson

Two years ago, Mark Reinwald and Mary Robinson purchased the house at 134 Principe de Paz. Several months ago, they finally moved in to make it their home and become part of The Ridges community

Mark is not new to New Mexico. Originally from New Jersey, he brought his skills as an auto mechanic specializing in vintage cars to Santa Fe, living here for ten years throughout the ’90s  working for Europa International, then starting Automotive Resources. This interest in classic cars pulled him back east to manage Ralph Lauren’s car collection from 2002 to 2022, returning to Santa Fe periodically with Mary, whom he met in 2011.                                                Mary has been a mental health clinician for 25 years and worked as a writer and editor for 15 years before that. They both have prior marriages, with children and grandchildren, so most travel has been family oriented. Recently retired, they wanted their next life to be in New Mexico, a place they know and love, celebrating this move with their wedding here last September. They are looking forward to pursuing their interests in gardening, learning piano, creating pottery, hiking, biking, and enjoying the company of friends.                                                     

Congratulations and welcome! We look forward to the occasional memory of Italy, with the sound of an Alfa buzzing down Principe…

Two Bucks
at Rest

Photo by Art and Velva Merrick

Photo by Larry Ross

April 2022 Newsletter

From the RIDGES
Your community newsletter
Picture of By Dennis McQuillan
By Dennis McQuillan

Views April- President’s Letter

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The daylight hours are getting longer and warmer, and some of the trees and plants are just starting to bud out.  Those of you, like me, who garden are getting ready to plant and the garden tour is not too far away.  The geology tour this year will be into the Galisteo Box where converging faults have created beautiful exposures of bedrock.  A new event this year will be an astronomy night where you can deep dive into the humbling vastness of our Milky Way Galaxy. 

The Roads Committee has acquired bids for repairs to Immanuel and Rey de Reyes, where drainage and erosion are problematic, and those of you who live on those roads are being contacted by the Committee to inform you of the work to be done. 

I really enjoy riding my mountain bike around our beautiful neighborhood where I meet and chat with a lot of you. 

Hope to see you all soon,

Dennis McQuillan


Ready Set Go Wildfire Prep

Are you ready for a possible wildfire? As wildfire danger is high because of the ongoing drought, it is time to review the information from the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ RSG! Program and the USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Fire Administration. Their publication, entitled Ready, Set, Go provides a checklist of items to help prepare for a fire, including to go kits that can be assembled and made ready to grab in case of wildfires in our area. Please take another look at this valuable information and stay safe!


Protect it and Inspect It:

Do:  Have your system pumped generally every three to five years, depending on number of people in household.

Think at the Sink:


  • Eliminate or limit the use of a garbage disposal
  • Properly dispose of coffee grounds and food
  • Put grease or oil in a container before discarding in the trash.


  • Pour cooking grease or oil down the sink or toilet
  • Rinse coffee grounds into the sink
  • Pour household chemicals down the sink or flush them.

Don’t Overload the Commode:


  • Dispose of non-degradable products or chemicals such as feminine hygiene products, condoms, dental floss, diapers, cigarette butts, cat litter, paper towels, and pharmaceuticals in the trash can!


  • Flush them down the toilet.

Shield your field:


  • Consult a septic service professional to advise of the proper distance for planting trees and shrubs, depending on your septic tank location.


  • Park or drive on your drain field.  The weight can damage the drain lines.
  • Plant trees or shrubs too close to your drain field, because roots can grow into your system and clog it.

Don’t strain your drain:


  • Stagger your use of water-generating appliances, especially washers.
  • Become more water efficient by fixing plumbing leaks and consider installing bath and kitchen low-water use fixtures.


  • Use your dishwasher, shower, washer, and toilet at the same time.  All that extra water can strain your septic system.

For further information, please consult the EPA website:

Ridges Photo Submission

Please submit your photos here.

Table of Contents


Quarter Hour Soup
Sopa al cuarto de hora

This is a recipe for a light, nourishing soup from Patricia Corres

1 medium onion, chopped

1 t minced garlic

1 bay leaf

2 T minced parsley

2 small tomatoes, chopped (or sub canned)

1 can minced clams  (or use fresh clams if you have them)

2 cans chicken broth (low sodium) (or use homemade)

1/2 C white wine

1 t lemon juice

1/8 t crushed saffron (optional)

1/4 C uncooked rice

Salt and pepper to taste


In a soup pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil (about 2 T) over medium heat until softened.  Add bay leaf, parsley and small tomatoes, sauté another few minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Stir and cover partially.  Let simmer about 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.


12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut in half

1/4 C ham chopped into small pieces (if you have it, jamón serrano is good–otherwise, a lean ham like prociutto or other cured ham is fine)

1 hard boiled egg, shelled and chopped fine.


Add shrimp and ham and cook just until the shrimp turns pink.  Add the egg bits last and serve

Dog Owners!

All the cute little piles are piling up along our roads.  We don’t have an in-roads poop fairy to clean up.  Please be respectful.   

Meet your Neighbor: Dr. Donna Coleman

Seeking Truth and Beauty in The Timeless Time

I gratefully acknowledge and pay tribute to the traditional inhabitants of this beautiful land I currently call home, situated in the heart of the deep Indigenous history of Native New Mexico, from ancient Paleo-Indians to Keres- and Tanoan-speaking peoples who were raided by the Comanche.

The Views editors asked me to provide a few thoughts about my recent work as a musician for this edition of the LOA newsletter. These twenty-four months, The Timeless Time, have been profoundly challenging for me as a performing artist as all of my in-house concert activity ground to a total halt from mid-March 2020 onward, and all plans for returning home to Australia were obliterated. That sad summer, aside from sewing masques and giving them away, as they were in short (or no) supply in shoppes, I created the Salone all’Aria Aperta (open air salons) for my neighbours. Groups of four came en masque to sit in lawn chairs outside the opened windows of my studio from whence I played a series of concerts entitled The Art of the Fugue, each beginning with one of the Preludes and Fugues from Daß Wohltemperierte Klavier by Johann Sebastian Bach, and ending with a selection from the vast, century-long repertory of Ragtime. These events were precious occasions in which I could share my music with others, even if the audience was small and on the other side of a wall!

Many of you have been staunch and generous supporters of the music festivals that I created for the Santa Fe community at San Miguel Chapel: The OutBach® Festival of [Mostly] American Music (2018) and The OutBach® Festival of [Mostly] Women’s Music (2019) co-sponsored by The Women’s International Study Center. For 2020 I had planned The OutBach® Festival of [Mostly] Beethoven’s Music in honour of his 250th birthday on 16th December, with the first concert devoted to my performances of the ethereal, profound, majestic final three piano sonatas. Of course, that festival could not take place, but I began my online “career” playing each of the sonatas individually for audiences that could view and listen via an iPhone or other MAC device on Face Time. My skill in setting up ZOOM sessions was yet to be honed.

A conversation with musician friends who had relocated to Albuquerque from Los Angeles in 2020 led to an introduction (virtual, of course) to Maureen Doolan, who with her late husband F. David Peat founded the Pari Center for New Learning in Pari, Italy. She was looking for an article about music to include in the upcoming journal they publish, Pari Perspectives. I sent her a paper I had written as part of my ongoing book project, Dancing with the Piano. Not only did she include it in the journal, she asked me if I would consider offering an online webinar. Always looking for any opportunity to connect with an audience, I immediately said yes and presented the two-hour session, On the Interpretation of Signs: The Search for Meaning in Music Notation on 26th September 2020.

The success of this offering led to an invitation to create the series that I have named The Quintessence of Music in honor of ether, the Fifth Element, the rarefied space in which the particles of the wider universe dance and inspire me. Thus far, Pari has streamed four webinars, all of which are available to the public free of charge on their website where you will find a host of other thought-provoking recorded events.

Friends of the Pari Center (link below) receive the digital editions of Pari Perspectives.

In addition to the Pari Center webinars, I recorded two films, one for the Cuban Cultural Center of New York entitled Ragtime’s Missing Links: Cuba’s Role in the Evolving Ragtime Tradition in the USA, featuring the music of Manuel Saumell, Ignacio Cervantes, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Scott Joplin.

For the PROGRAM pdf and full details of the event, click here:

An Extraordinary Collaboration: Ferruccio Busoni, Natalie Curtis, and Indigenous Americans is another concert-with-commentary produced for the Society for American Music’s 2022 (online) annual conference. It tells the story of an Italian composer-pianist’s introduction in the second decade of the twentieth century to the music of Native Americans, thanks to Curtis’s 1907 publication, The Indians’ Book. [Natalie Curtis subsequently married painter Paul Burlin, (whose works, many of which boast five- and six-figure price tags!) can now be viewed at the Peyton Wright Gallery on Palace Avenue] and they decided to live in Santa Fe. The property they purchased is now The Inn of the Turquoise Bear!] I am in the process of creating another version of this presentation that provides additional insight into Natalie Curtis and Paul Burlin and the brief time they lived in Santa Fe.

I am immensely grateful to have been able to shelter during these twenty-four months in the serene surroundings of my USA home in this inspiring New Mexico landscape, to enjoy encounters with neighbours when I am on my daily walks, to be reunited with my weaving practice (Music I Can See), to be able watch the nightly parade of constellations and seek deep sky objects from my Star Deck, to connect with my beloved friends around the world for free via Face Time and ZOOM, and to have been blessed with these few but invaluable opportunities to create musical experiences for others. Music remains my Reason for Living.

While no in-person performances are on schedule at this stage, the Pari Center webinars continue, and the next one, The Quintessence of Music: Music and Numbers II, will stream on Wednesday 6th April at 10:00 a.m. MDT. To learn more about this event and to register for it, please go to the link below and “purchase” (at NO charge) the number of tickets you want. Registration provides you with the link to the webinar recording when it becomes available about one week after it streams.

I hope you can join me for these mind-bending, thought-provoking forays into music, philosophy, and spirituality as I continue my endless search for Truth and Beauty in The Timeless Time. Music is the Cure for Everything.

Dr Donna Coleman weaves, writes, walks, studies and photographs the stars, and contemplates the deepest mysteries of the Universe, which she transforms into interpretations of music ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ragtime and Stride, from Domenico Scarlatti to Charles Ives, to compositions written for her yesterday, to free improvisations in which she collaborates with many of Australia’s premiere Jazz musicians. Her recordings may be purchased or streamed from Amazon, iTunes, Alexa and other streaming services, and many performances are on Youtube. She works as a volunteer in the Archeomagnetism Laboratory at the Office of Archeological Studies.

Photo by Larry Ross

December 2021 Newsletter

From the RIDGES
Your community newsletter
Picture of By Roc Curry
By Roc Curry

Views December - President’s Letter

Dear Neighbors,

As Winter Solstice approaches, days grow shorter and nights grow longer. But it does not dim the “light” shared by many residents who volunteered their time and talent to the Ridges Community this year.  I want to recognize and thank them for their contributions.

In the revived newsletter renamed VIEWS FROM THE RIDGES Karen Foss served as editor, West Cooper as webmaster and Patricia Corres as proof reader and Board of Directors’ representative. Kathy Kubes, board representative, along with Gina Hayes and Barbara Wisted , organized  the first ever Ridges Garden Tour. They welcomed residents to visit their gardens as well, along with Ted and Bebe Schooley, Jim and Janet Tellatin, Maria and Richard Goldstein, and Roc Curry and Carol Albrecht.  Our new resident Dennis McQuillan conducted a Geology Tour, organized by Sue Egan, Board secretary. Both events generated many enthusiastic participants asking for more to come.

Paul Reimus, Board Vice President, welcomed back Dr. John Formby to examine the extent of bark beetle infestation in the Ridges at the request of more than a dozen concerned homeowners. Paul invited several tree companies to offer a group discount to remove infected trees. Many other landowners took a closer look at their property and removed their pinons suffering from the “bug”.

Even with the limitations of Covid precautions, the Board of Directors invited speakers to offer their expertise with lectures to the community on Zoom. Dr John Formby from the state forestry department spoke on preventive care of pinon trees. Wendy Mason, Wildfire Prevention and Communications Director of the New Mexico Foestry Division along with Lawrence Crane offered a presentation on Fire Prevention. Their presentations are available on the Ridges website,

Debra Hagey, Carol Albrecht and Jerry Fornell continued their work on the Architectural Control Committee. Mark Glaze, Charlie Whiteley, and Greg Cooper brought their dedication and skill-sets to the Roads Committee. They dealt with the constant demands of monitoring the road conditions, meeting with contractors, scheduling, and supervising their work.  The ACA oversees the architectural integrity of the Ridges. Thank you for the ongoing work by the members of  those key committees and by all the volunteers.

This year  I have greatly enjoyed working with the members of the Board, the committees, and volunteers. The response of the residents to these community activities and services is encouraging and gratifying. Next year, 2022, will be bright!

Roc Curry

Meet your Neighbor: Karen Foss

Karen came to St. Louis from her hometown of Kansas City in 1979, where she began her television career at KCMO-TV (now KCTV).   She then worked for KSDK, Channel 5 in St. Louis for 27 years, winning six Emmys, including two for best anchor.   Foss was named media personality of the year, and acquired the highest “Q” rating as the best-known news person in the local market, all while  becoming a significant participant and role model for her community service in the St. Louis region. 

In 2005, she was inducted into the Silver Circle by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for her 25 years of journalistic excellence by the NATAS  Mid-America Chapter.  In 2007, Karen was named vice president for public relations for the utility company Ameren and retired from the utility in 2011 as corporate Senior Vice President for Communications.  Her relocation to Santa Fe inspired her to pursue a lifelong dream of continuing her art studies and practice.

“It can be the particular sag of a roof, the curve of a nose, the fall of light across a field or upon a wall that will send me to my studio, eager to feel the line and the light develop on the surface.  As I work, I feel–slowly–the image develop as in a photographic bath.

“I find parallels in my many decades of journalism, as I search and probe beyond the obvious, to try to uncover the essence of the subject, to reveal its unique elements.  I always hope to find and convey a subtle truth, a truth that is sometimes best communicated by its opposite or even its absence.  Occasionally a tiny detail, an isolated vignette, will present itself to me as a subject fully worthy of  exploration.  I can’t resist these small moments.  To capture and savor, to preserve and interpret an elusive, fragmentary moment of pungency or beauty or contrast is the goal.”  Karen Foss

From the announcement of Karen Foss’s art show opening December 10, 2021 at the Duane Reed Gallery, 4729 McPherson Ave,  St. Louis, Missouri.  The show is entitled “Moments and Memories” and runs from December 10 to January 8.

The Ridges High Desert Gardening Tour - The Challenge: September 4, 2021

On Saturday of Labor Day week-end,  residents spent a relaxing morning and early afternoon touring our Ridges neighbors’ creative and beautiful gardens hidden behind stucco walls or at the end of winding driveways.  Visiting each stop gave perspectives on the challenges of gardening in our area while we enjoyed light refreshments.

A big thank you to the following people who participated in the tour: Carol Albrecht and Roc Curry, Richard and Maria Goldstein, Gina Hayesand Barb Wisted, Jim and Janet Tellatin, Kathy and Randy Kubes, and Ted & Bebe Schooley.  And our driver: Judy Nelson-Moore!

We had a good turnout and hope to repeat the event in the upcoming year.  

Below are pictures of some of the tour locations:  Click the small picture to see larger image.  

Max's and Faun's Long Road to the Ridges

Max and Faun take walks together every day with their “masters” Mark Glaze and Greg Cooper. You may see them on Principe, but they each have taken the long road to reach The Ridges.

Max was just a six-month old pup in an animal shelter, when Mark came looking for a pet. Max lay still with his paws crossed, looking up nonchalantly as if to say:  “You know I am the one, just make up your mind.” He has been a constant companion for the last 12 years. He looks ferocious but is gentle and welcoming to all he meets on the road. But he is also tough.

Recently, Max underwent surgery to remove a benign mass from his abdomen and a cancerous tumor from his thyroid. He is a survivor, doing well, and continuing his daily routine walks with his friend Faun.

Faun, nine years old, grew up in Pojoaque, NM. On her daily walk with her former owner, she was attacked viciously by coyotes, fighting back bravely. She slowly recovered at a shelter and ended up with a new owner and moved to Santa Fe East-side. Able to run free, she became the leader of a pack of mostly chihuahuas who “terrorized” passing tourists.

One afternoon, the dog catcher picked her up. Fortunately, Greg Cooper, who was renovating his rental property nearby, intervened and rescued her from the pound.  He spoke to the owner and adopted her on the spot and she has now settled in The Ridges.  She is friendly with people but still bares her teeth when facing another canine in her territory. You know this “little street urchin” means business. But she and Max remain best buddies on their daily walks. 

Ridges Photo Submission

Photo by Roc Curry

Please submit your photos here.

Table of Contents

Immanuel: A Work in Progress

By Greg Cooper and Dennis McQuillian

Recent photo of erosion on Immanuel.  

Greg:  “I was on the Board in 2016,  when the Roads Committee and Board took action to upgrade Immanuel. It was in terrible condition. The embankment on the north side was collapsing and on the south side it was eroding. Rainfall caused torrents that rushed through the bar ditches, filled them to capacity and overflowed the road. Deep fissures developed across the road. It is in my opinion that had we waited another six months to act, residents of Immanuel would only have been able to hike out. Fortunately, the Association had capital reserves to cover the $17,000 expense of upgrading it.

“The road surface was completely reworked with standard base course and grading. The north side bank was graded back and reinforced with large rocks for stability. The south bank was rebuilt. The bar ditches were reestablished deeper and with stone breaks to slow the corrosive rainfall torrents. Without the strength and stability afforded by the standard application of base course, there would not be Immanuel today. Art Merrick who lives and walks on Immanuel daily remembers its deplorable condition and approves the upgrade. With regular grading, floating and rolling, Immanuel keeps a firm surface for walking, cycling, and vehicular traffic even after five years.”   (Greg Cooper)

Dennis:  “Hello everyone, I want to call your attention to the southern curved area of Immanuel where there is ongoing erosion,(picture included)  and I understand that this was also part of the problem area that necessitated repairs in 2016.  Ongoing maintenance is still required. Rills have already cut up to the level of the road surface, and the drainage culvert gabion is being undermined by erosion.  These pics are posted on the map if you click the erosion icon on Immanuel, and I have attached them for your convenience. “

“I am preparing a Google map with icons and pictures of trouble spots on our roads. It is posted on the website. This link will take you to a working draft of the The Ridges interactive map.  You can zoom in and out,  click on the roads, arroyos, and hazard icons to get more information and pictures.  I am still talking to residents on my bike rides to get their views on road conditions and problem areas.  All residents are invited to review this map. You can send comments to Your comments will be greatly appreciated.

“I am not a highway engineer, but I have extensive professional experience investigating erosion of waste impoundments and infrastructure, including roads.” (Dennis McQuillan)

Recent picture of erosion on south downhill side of Immanuel.

Foodies Among Us: Chana Dal

By Carol Curry

Chana Dal is a Punjabi-style bold and saucy soup of hulled and split chickpeas tempered and flavored with onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices.

While I would never claim to be an authentic Indian cook, I greatly appreciate the healthful aspects of their vegetarian dishes, and their wonderful complex flavors.

During the busy holiday season, we seem to overeat and indulge ourselves, so this delicious warm soup can both balance and comfort our stressed bodies.

Try this nourishing and satisfying dish; you will thank yourself for making it!

1 cup chana dal (split chickpeas), washed, soaked in water overnight and drained

3-4 cups water
¼ tsp. turmeric
3 Tbsp. ghee (or a neutral oil)
1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium size tomatoes)
1 tsp. finely chopped ginger
½ tsp. finely chopped serrano pepper
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. garam masala powder
½ tsp. amchur powder (may substitute lemon juice)
1 pinch asafoetida
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. dry fenugreek leaves (or mustard seed)
Salt to taste
1-2 Tbsp. chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)

Cook soaked chana dal with the turmeric in the water on the stovetop until soft (may take an hour or more at our elevation). Set aside.

In a skillet, heat ghee. Add cumin seeds until they sputter. Add garlic and onion, frying until they become golden. Add the chopped tomatoes, ginger and the chile.

Add all the dry spice powders (and lemon juice if mango powder is not available). Sauté until the tomatoes soften and the oil starts to leave the sides of the mixture. Stir in the fenugreek leaves (or mustard seed). Add to the softened chana dal and simmer 6-8 minutes until you get a medium consistency: not thick and not thin. With a wooden spoon, mash about a third of the mixture to get the consistency just right for dipping the naan. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.

I like to add a drizzle of pomegranate syrup and a dollop of yogurt on top, and serve it with warm naan, and a dish of raita. My raita recipe is very simple: regular Greek-style plain yogurt, seeded and chopped cucumber, kosher salt and ground cumin.

Meet your Neighbor: Brent Bonwell

By Brian Sandford, Santa Fe NEW MEXICAN

( Excerpts)

Santa Fe mountain bicyclist, (and Ridges resident)  Brent Bonwell doesn’t just take roads less traveled; he creates them. Brent can frequently be seen toiling on Santa Fe-area trails or simply enjoying their bucolic charm. Those close to the prolific volunteer say his presence on the trails will never diminish, owning to a legacy of hard work, advocacy and kindness.

Brent, who has been involved with the Commonweal Conservancy in designing and building about 25 miles of trails in the Galisteo Basin Preserve, is one of the New Mexican’s 10 Who Made a Difference for 2021. He wasn’t eager to credit himself. “I get a lot of pleasure using the trails I help maintain and build,” Bonwell said. “It’s not a completely altruistic thing.”

Associates and friends had plenty of praise, though singling our Bonwell’s tireless energy and sense of adventure. Bonwell said he can trace those traits to his childhood in Wichita, Kans. Area where the Little Arkansas River’s banks beckoned for exploration from his backyard. Back then, nature’s only competition for entertainment was three channels on black-and-white TV, Bonwell said. “Otherwise, there wasn’t much for a kid,” he said. “No cell phones, no social media. We played outside; that’s what we did.”

Despite the public elements of his efforts, Bonwell, describes himself a  private person. Nominator Gretchen Grogan, who has worked extensively with Bonwell in her role as project manager with the Commonweal Conservancy, said his humility and social gravity stand out.

“This year we built over six miles of trails at the Galisteo preserve,” she said. “It was really his efforts to bring out the volunteers who came out every Tuesday night. We always hand 10 to 12 volunteers on a weeknight to work on trails. For people to do that after work, when they’re tired… it was kind of remarkable… because they like him so much.” “He knows what he wants to get accomplished, and he makes that clear to people,” she added. “But he has a good sense of humor and makes it fun for people.”

Henry Lanman echoed that sentiment, (also a resident here in the Ridges) The fellow mountain bicyclist and volunteer said he has known Bonwell, a neighbor, at least 15 years. “Right from the very beginning, he’s always been really friendly and giving,” said Lanman, who nominated Bonwell this year. He recalled them taking meals to each other’s houses amid heavy, isolating snowfall in the mid-2000s. More recently, Bonwell has prepared meals for Lanman’s wife, Tina, whose mobility was limited following a serious injury. The Lanmans were on last year’s 10 Who Made a Difference list.

Brent works for Santa Fe-based CyberWolf as a support consultant for software it publishes. He married his wife, Sally, in 1990. They have two children, ages 28 and 23.

He acknowledged he thinks about his legacy. “That sense of ownership… is a very cool thing,” he said of being on trails he helped create or design. Bonwell added that delegating doesn’t come easily. “I have a really hard time asking for help,” he said. “I just… why would I want someone else to do something I don’t want to do myself?” So I go out and do it.” (Congratulations, Brent)

Environmental Conditions Update for The Ridges

Excerpted from Article by Dennis McQuillan of November 16, 2021.  Click link above to see full article, links to related resources,  and illustrative figures as a pdf file.  

Drought and Water Resources – The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor for New Mexico shows that Santa Fe County is under severe to extreme drought conditions (see Figure 1). New Mexico is projected to have below average precipitation (see Figure 2) and above normal temperatures (see Figure 3) during the 2021- 22 winter due to a “Double-Dip” Moderate La Niña and a negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

If drought conditions continue through the winter, resulting in a relatively small winter snowpack, groundwater levels in the region will likely decline and the Eldorado Area Water and Sanitation District may impose Drought Management Restrictions in 2022.

The Ridges residents are advised to continue water-conservation measures year-round.

Wildfire Danger – The most recent U.S. Geological Survey Wildfire Danger Map shows moderate risk in The Ridges (see Figure 4). Wildfire risk will increase with prolonged warm, dry conditions and during periods of high wind. Information on assessing homes and property for fire hazard is available from The Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition, including a Home Hazard Assessment Guide.

Bark Beetle Risk – Bark beetles are a natural component of The Ridges woodlands ecosystem. Normally, bark beetles mostly attack damaged, diseased or weakened trees, and healthy trees can repel an attack by pushing the beetles out with sap. During periods of drought, however, bark beetles can overwhelm tree defenses and cause widespread tree damage and mortality. Signs of bark-beetle attack may include the accumulation of frass, a red-brown sawdust like material that beetles push out from a tree (Figure 5), red or brown pitch tunes on tree bark, bark flaking or woodpecker holes, and brown, red, yellow or faded green tree needles.

The U.S. Forest Service Insect and Disease Risk Map Viewer presently shows risks ranging from less than 1% to greater than 30% of the basal area of trees that “host ” bark beetles (see Figure 6). The mapper shows that engraver bark beetles are driving these risks. Homeowners can type their address into the mapper to locate their properties.

The Ridges residents are advised that winter is the best time to do tree pruning or removal since bark beetle flight activity is minimal. See the NMSU Bark Beetle Guide. Pruning and removing dead and diseased trees also will help reduce wildfire risk.

A warm dry winter also may increase the vulnerability of trees to bark beetle attack in 2022. Watering trees during times of drought helps them repel bark beetle attacks. Some arborists recommend watering trees twice a month during winter, and twice a week during summer.

Figure 5 from the full article available from the button link above.  

Geological Tour: September 25, 2021

Beginning with a presentation at the home of Karen Foss and Larry Ross, residents were shown rock samples by Dennis McQuillan, who also described the mountains surrounding us.  Afterwards, Dennis led groups to see an outcropping in the Ridges, and from there on to the Deer Creek trail along I-25.

As retired Chief Scientist for the New Mexico Environment Department, Dennis has prepared an illustrated, expansive report on the geology of the Ridges.  Please click on the following link.

Coming Soon: Community Forum

The Ridges Homeowners will be reviving the community forum in the future.  The following article is an initial submission.  Read the full article on the website by logging in with your user name and password, using the button below. 

Preview: “The newsletter editors asked me to write a few words for this newsletter about my new musical The Battlefields of Clara Barton which opened recently in Chicago …  But instead of writing about the success of this project, I find myself compelled to write about a different battlefield, one much closer to home and one which concerns all of us who live in The Ridges.

“Since the Annual Meeting of the Ridges Landowners Association last month Jim and I have been deeply disturbed about what transpired at the meeting and in the weeks leading up to it.”  … Suzan Zeder

Photo by Larry Ross

July 2021 Newsletter

From the RIDGES
Your community newsletter

Views July - President’s Letter

Picture of By Roc Curry
By Roc Curry

Dear Neighbors,


The Ridges is a wonderful place to live. We are surrounded by the natural beauty of the high desert:  junipers, pinons, yuccas, blooming chollas, the Sandia, Sangre, and Jemez Mountain ranges, hiking trails, lovely pueblo revival homes and a respectful community of residents. What’s more, we are close to Santa Fe with its famed Plaza, museums, and restaurants.

Carol and I are late-comers to The Ridges, which was established in 1992. We purchased our home in February, 2013 and moved here full time in November 2016. We were drawn to The Ridges because of its beautiful homes, and well-maintained roads and properties. We were greeted warmly by our neighbors and by Victor Hesch, then Board president. We felt welcomed and at home.

These past few years I have come to really appreciate and respect the efforts of residents who have served on the board and the various committees to ensure the continuation of the look and feel of our community. All the residents, together, have contributed to make The Ridges a safe and beautiful place to live.

By now you have all received a packet by mail and email describing the condition of the gravel and paved roads with a suggested remedy. For more than a year, the Roads Committee and the Board of Directors has researched this issue on behalf of our community.

You all will have a say. In the coming weeks, we, as an association, will discuss and then vote on the way to restore the integrity of the gravel roads. We believe the Board’s proposal will protect, preserve, and enhance the lifestyle that we all enjoy.

This important action will affect the beauty and livability of our entire community for years to come. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.


Roc Curry

Board President

Board Members

Picture of Roc Curry
Roc Curry


Picture of Paul Reimus
Paul Reimus

Vice President

Picture of Kathy Kubes
Kathy Kubes


Picture of Sue Egan
Sue Egan


Picture of Patricia Corres
Patricia Corres

Views Liaison


This map shows the projected cost of re-graveling our dirt roads in The Ridges, if the work is completed this year. For more detail, please review your packet of information all landowners recently received. The documents in your packet outline the Board’s recommendations for a realistic, affordable strategy and budget to cover road maintenance as well as our regular annual expenses into the future.

GARDENING IN THE RIDGES - Assessing and Redesigning Our Landscapes for Sustainability

By Brigitte Philipp, MLA

While we’ve had some rain in Santa Fe there is no guarantee that the “monsoons” have started or that they will continue. Regardless, the drought will continue. EAWSD Stage 1 water restrictions are in force and most likely will not be lifted all summer. Therefore, it is wise for all of us to reconsider the plantings in our landscapes and gardens in order to minimize water use as much as possible, while retaining a beautiful, aesthetic landscape. TREES & SHRUBS: First, and foremost on the agenda, is to make efforts to save the most valuable trees and shrubs. All trees and plants should be thoroughly inspected, dead or dying limbs properly pruned, any diseased trees assessed and, if possible, treated by a certified arborist. In order that rainwater does not simply run off, it should be directed toward trees, shrubs, and plants via berms, swales, and depressions or basins surrounding the plants. NOTE: No trees or shrubs may be planted during the current water restrictions! WEEDING & DEADHEADING: It is best to cut weeds off at ground level and then mulch heavily in order to prevent soil erosion and weed regrowth. Practice no-till gardening, in order to not disturb our fragile soils; mulch with compost as necessary whenever and wherever possible. Deadhead, cut spent blossoms of flowering plants to stimulate more blooms. COMPOSTING: Traditional hot or cold composting is difficult in the dry conditions of Santa Fe. Try burying kitchen waste in the garden, next to plants, or in trenches. That will help to retain moisture and feed the plants. Another excellent, much faster option for kitchen waste is using the ancient homolactic, anaerobic fermentation composting method known today by the Japanese name “Bokashi” (pickling). One of the biggest advantages of Bokashi composting is that you can put anything organic, including citrus, meats, bones, dairy, and cooked leftovers, into the system. The only things to be avoided are items that are already beginning to spoil or are moldy as these will interfere with the lactobacillus fermentation, also items that are too large such as whole fruits or veggies; those should be cut up into smaller pieces. The great advantage of Bokashi fermentation composting is the speed—about 4 to 6 weeks, compared to ordinary composting, which in our dry climate can take many months. The liquid produced as a byproduct of Bokashi can be used as a compost tea if diluted 1 to 100. A little goes a long way! With good compost, you will never have to purchase commercial fertilizer or other soil amendments. After all, composting is the way Mother Nature herself builds soil— only Bokashi is faster.

Beginner’s Guide to Bokashi Composting // What to Expect Start to Finish

REASSESSING and REDESIGNING our LANDSCAPES: Ultimately, it would be wise to do some harsh assessments of our gardens by removing the struggling, less drought-tolerant, thirsty plants and replacing these with xeric vegetation such as grasses, and succulents including— Hardy sedums, sempervivums, agaves, aloe, aeonium, euphorbia, hawthornia, echeveria, yuccas, optunia/cacti and more. These plants look spectacular when placed into rock gardens and come in a multitude of varieties, colors and blooms—something for everyone and every garden. Succulents are easy care and, very drought tolerant. The main requirement for succulents is excellent drainage and full sun. On average, succulents should be watered once the soil has completely dried out. In many gardens that amounts to every 14 to 21 to even 30 days for optunia/cacti. Succulents like well-draining soils without too much organic matter. Regular feeding with a 15-15-15 fertilizer is best. Be careful mulching succulents and sedums because they are prone to stem rot. Keep light mulches a few inches away from the plant. Beautiful, colorful gravels make terrific mulches for sedums. For those who might want to do some replanting, here is a comprehensive resource of 180 succulent varieties, with photos, from which to choose:

CONTAINERS: Gardening in containers, especially self-watering ones, is a great way to control the use of resources and diseases in the garden. VEGGIE GARDENS: If you wish to try more drought-tolerant fruits and vegetables, here are some ideas: Bush Beans – White Half Runner, Snap Butter Beans – Jackson Wonder Lima Beans – Alabama Black-Eyed Butter, Carolina Sieva, Christmas, and Fordhook 242 Bush Pole Beans – Asparagus, Blue Coco, Garden of Eden, Romano, Louisiana Purple Pod Broccoli – Waltham 29 (when fall planted) Corn – Anasazi Sweet, Hopi Blue Flour, Hopi Pink, Painted Mountain Flour, Pinky Popcorn

Cucumber – Armenian, Lemon Eggplant – Listada de Gandia Melons – Iroquois, Navajo Yellow Mustard – Southern Giant Curled Okra – Gold Coast, Hill Country Heirloom Red, Jing Orange Pepper – Jupiter Red Bell, just about any chili pepper, Ordoño Quinoa – all varieties Squash – Cocozelle Zucchini, Costata Romanesco, Cushaw Green-Striped Dark Star, Iran Jumbo Pink Banana, Lebanese Light Green, Tatsume Sunflower – Skyscraper, Maximilian (can be invasive!) Tomato – Caro Rich, Pearson, Red Currant, Phoenix, Solar Fire, Pineapple Stone, Yellow Pear Cherry, Juliet Hybrid Watermelon – Black Diamond Not caring for our landscapes and gardens is really not an option. Neglect and improper use of land are some of the major failings that got humanity into the mess we are in today. As our species practices land stewardship so will Nature repay us with untold, incalculable rewards. Without soil and water, there can be no life on our blue marble. It is imperative that each and every one of us do our part!


By Sue Egan

On Monday, July 21st starting at 10:00 am – 11:00 am we are offering a fire prevention Zoom meeting presented by:

Wendy Mason, Wildfire Prevention & Communications Coordinator

Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department – Forestry

She will be talking about safety practices we can implement to protect our homes and properties.  She will then answer any questions.

In the June issue of Eldorado Living, there is a good article regarding how to protect your home from wildfires. In the article there is a pdf you can download called:  Ready, Set, Go! that is offered by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. You can copy this link in your browser and either print or save it:

Copies are also available at the Eldorado Fire and Rescue Services, 144 Avenida Vista Grande.

Topic: Robert Curry’s Zoom Meeting FIRE PREVENTION
Time: Jul 21, 2021 02:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 853 2998 7309
Passcode: 612850
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Ridges Photo Submission

Photo thanks to Larry Ross.

Please submit your photos here.

Table of Contents

The Ridges Calendar






OCT 24 – ANNUAL RLA MEETING , 1 pm – Location TBA

Good Neighbor Award

WHO is that man under the sun hat, armed with nothing more than gloves, a stick and a big bucket? Why, that’s our Ridges GOOD NEIGHBOR of the quarter, Randy Kubes. Randy has taken it upon himself to clean up along our Ridges roadways. He’s picking up trash that’s been carelessly discarded by someone (surely not our Ridges’ neighbors?). Randy says most of what he finds is old cans, bottles and discarded utility flags. So a big thank you and our GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARD goes to RANDY KUBES!

Randy Kubes, photographed by Kathy Kubes.


How many times have you looked up at our beautiful surroundings and thought, “I wonder what those mountains are called? And how they came to be?” Or looked down, maybe while attempting to garden, and wondered, “What on earth is this rock I keep running into?” We have a neighbor who can answer those questions and more. He is the authority on flood and earthquake risk, the impact of climate change, drought and monsoons, and more. Much more. Ridges resident Dennis McQuillan is the recently retired Chief Science Coordinator for the New Mexico Environment Department. He has prepared – especially for us – an illustrated, expansive report on the natural conditions of The Ridges. Don’t miss it! 

Also, Dennis has offered to lead a field trip and a question/answer session in September for Ridges residents who would like to learn more. Please let me know if you would be interested and if you would prefer September 18 or 25th. Write to This is not a reservation; that will come later. This will simply help us get a preliminary head count and gauge everyone’s interest.


Our first ever garden tour is coming up. We’re calling it THE RIDGES HIGH DESERT GARDEN TOUR – THE CHALLENGE.

Yes, we all know, water restrictions, brown and dried out land, etc., etc. However, we’re planning our tour from 10-2 on September 4th; hopefully it will be cooler by then.

And, yes indeed, that is Labor Day Weekend, but we hope the tour will be a fun activity to share with any holiday guests. If you’d like to get an idea of what people plant and create in The Ridges to complement their homes, especially in the face of adverse conditions, this will be a great way to get inspired. We promise you’ll be amazed at what your talented neighbors are doing down their long driveways and behind their adobe walls. We hope you’ll come out, say hello, maybe sip a lemonade, and have a fun and inspirational time.

Also, if you would like to participate as a host or to showcase your secret garden please contact Kathy Kubes at

Who's Who?

  1. Velva Merrick
  2. Sue Egan
  3. Frank Welsch
  4. Judy Nelson-Moore
  5. Tamara Smith


A. Races to the hounds.

B. Professional harmonica player.

C. Born in Santa Fe.

D. International researcher on birth defects.

E. Maker of art pottery.

Hover / Tap for Answers


(Answers: 1-B, 2-A, 3-D, 4-E, 5-C)


Tabbouleh or not Tabbouleh? That is the question!

By Carol Curry

Clockwise from top left: Hummus, Eggplant Dip, Tabbouleh. Photo: Brigitte Philipp

Gina Hayes, resident of The Ridges, has answered the tabbouleh question with her recipe for this refreshing summer salad that is a staple of middle eastern cuisine.

The traditional grain used is bulgur wheat, which is a low-carb, high-fiber whole grain rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, B-vitamins and protein. Quinoa can be substituted, adding more protein, but decreasing the fiber.

Add lots of leafy green herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers to serve as an entrée salad or an accompaniment to your favorite middle eastern and Mediterranean dishes.


1/2 c. bulgur, prepared per package directions

1 c. diced tomatoes

1 c. diced cucumber

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 c. sliced green onion

2-3 bunches of parsley, large stems removed and finely chopped

1/3 c. mint, large stems removed and finely chopped


1 minced garlic clove

1/3 c. olive oil

4T. lemon juice

Salt to taste

Set aside prepared bulgur to cool. Combine tomato, cucumber and salt in a separate bowl while bulgur is cooling. Strain and discard the juices that accumulate. Combine all ingredients. Whisk dressing and add. Chill and serve. NOTE: salad is best served the day it is prepared as the lemon juice in the dressing will wilt and darken the herbs. OPTIONS: replace bulgur with quinoa, add cilantro in lieu of some of the parsley and mint, substitute lime for the lemon, add pine nuts for texture and flavor.


Picture of By Karen Foss
By Karen Foss

Dear Neighbors –

Thank you for your comments on our first quarterly newsletter and especially for your participation. The Views will only be as good as we – together – make it!

Many people have told me they saved Brigitte Philipp’s gardening article because of all the great information she included, so I’m pleased to tell you Brigitte has agreed to write for us again. And this time she’ll be joined by Patricia Corres, writing about troublesome weeds. Speaking of beautifying our environs – Ridges beautification chair, Kathy Kubes is organizing our first-ever Ridges Garden Tour. She has details for us in this newsletter.

We told you last time that geologist and Ridges resident, Dennis McQuillan was preparing a survey of natural conditions in The Ridges. We’re including a link to his extensive report. It makes for a fascinating and educational read. Have you ever considered the risk of flood or earthquake in The Ridges? Dennis tells us what we need to know.

Take note of the Zoom meeting on fire safety, coming up on July 21st. Essential information for all of us.

We’re pleased to highlight a new feature this quarter, Foodies Among Us. Carol Curry is shepherding this project and she begins this month with a recipe for a refreshing summer salad from Gina Hayes.

And, of course, we can’t forget our roads. President Roc Curry has the latest. Roc and the RLA have devoted many hours and much brain power to developing a solid plan to maintain our varied roads at the best price possible. Roc lays it all out for us this month in our newsletter plus a packet of documents to be sent to all residents.

And do test your neighborly IQ by checking the Who’s Who quiz.

Till next time,

Karen Foss


By Patricia Corres

Two years ago when we moved to New Mexico, I met many new people and also many new-to-me weeds. In fact, I found so many new weeds that I took photos of them to learn their names and how to identify them. This process of ‘getting acquainted’ was helped by programs like Inaturalist or Picture This or by useful websites such as these: USDA National Invasive Species Information Center: USD Forest Service Invasive Species: Colorado Weed Management Association: NM State University in Las Cruces (Noxious and Troublesome Weeds of New Mexico (updated in 2020):

Here in our area of New Mexico, there are nuisance weeds that are often non-native plants which have evolved successful ways of reproducing and discouraging the growth of other plants around them. Here are a few that you may have encountered and a little about their habit.

Puncturevine (Goathead) (Tribulus terrestris) is a summer annual broadleaf plant that grows flat along the ground and whose fruit is a woody burr with sharp rigid spines. It has small yellow flowers and is native to southern Europe. A typical plant can produce 200-5,000 seeds during one growing season and can grow in mats.

Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) is a common native plant with prickly leaves and a beautiful purple flower with yellow center. It has yellow berries. Every part of the plant is poisonous, so it is best to pull it out early or treat it with a weed killer.

Kochia (Bassia scoparia) is a large annual broadleaf weed native to Eurasia. If uncontrolled, it can become a tumbleweed and disperse seeds over a large area. Nitrate, oxalate, sulfates, saponins and alkaloids found in kochia can cause poisoning in cattle and sheep, particularly when drought stressed. Kochia starts out as a gray-green fuzzy-leafed plant and can grow in mats. Its flowers are inconspicuous.

Russian thistle (Salsola tragus ) is a prickly non-native summer annual weed with many- branched stems that usually have red or purple striping. It also has inconspicuous seeds and can become a tumbleweed when it dries, scattering the seeds as it is blown around. This thistle can accumulate toxic levels of nitrates and oxalates that can harm animals.

Filaree (common stork’s-bill) (Erodium cicutarium) is a European native that out- competes native grasses. It grows flat and has fern-like, delicate leaves with small 5- petaled pink to purple flowers. The seeds have a long tails that coil into a spiral when dry and are launched from a beak-like projection. Each plant can produce between 2,000 and 10,000 seeds.

Field bindweed (Convovulus arvensis) is a Eurasian native in the morning glory family with spade-like leaves. It is an herbaceous perennial. It is drought tolerant and very difficult to eradicate. The seed can be dormant in the soil for 60 yrs!

Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is also known as foxtail grass. It is a non-native annual grass which has become very invasive and is on every hit list. It grows quickly in the spring and dies in early summer, making it a big fire hazard. It also sports finely barbed seeds that by mid-June attach themselves to clothing and puncture skin, clothing, and pets’ ears and skin. I would refer you to the article written by David Salman that details several ways to get rid of this weed. (Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/7/20 and 4/12/21)


By Roc Curry

Eldorado Community Church has contacted the Ridges Landowners’ Association (RLA) about plans to move from its space in La Tienda to Lot 17 in Cimmaron and build a sanctuary. The commercially zoned Lot 17 is on the corner of Alma, Highway 285 and Chamisa. The Cimmaron commercial zoning covenant limits commercial space to 5,000 square feet does not include allowing a church, only commercial businesses. The RLA and businesses in 17A, B and C would have to agree to change the Cimmaron Covenants to include a church and expand the space to 10,000 sq ft. . Also the 1992 agreement with the Lot 17 owners  and the Cimmaron Corporation grants the Ridges ownership and responsibility for the fifty foot wide easement  that runs from highway 285 along Alma and throughout the Ridges. This raises potential liability issues, as well as cost of maintenance of Alma. The Board will seek legal counsel as we enter discussion with the Eldorado Community Church.

April 2021 Newsletter

From the RIDGES
Your community newsletter

Views April - President’s Letter

Picture of By Roc Curry
By Roc Curry


Why do people settle in Santa Fe?

For John Gaw Meem, the now famous New Mexico architect, the journey started in Brazil. He was born in 1894 to American Episcopalian missionary parents. As a young man, he returned to the U.S. and lived in New York. While working there, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and prescribed the dry high desert climate of Santa Fe.

Once here in 1924, Meem was completely captivated by the traditional adobe structures that expressed the Native Pueblo and Spanish colonial architecture. For the next 60 years, he dedicated his life to building and renovating hundreds of buildings in Northern New Mexico in these styles – churches, homes, university and government facilities.

Countering International Modernism in favor of Regionalism, he created a fresh new interpretation of Native Pueblo and Spanish Colonial architectural traditions. La Fonda Hotel, the Santa Fe Indian School and Santa Fe Plaza are just a few of his famous projects.

In 1957 Santa Fe adopted the Historical Zoning Ordinance for the “old quarter” that required adherence to the Pueblo Revival ,the Spanish Colonial and Territorial styles Meem had championed his whole career. John Gaw Meem’s aesthetic vision gives Santa Fe its character and appeal as the City Different.

In 1990 Ron Sebesta Realty purchased 323 acres, divided them into 85 lots, and filed the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants (DRC) to establish The Ridges. These Covenants describe the styles of architecture acceptable in The Ridges as “Santa Fe” style, “Territorial Style”, “Mexican” and “Traditional Pueblo” styles and “Traditional Spanish Moorish” style (DRC 9.02). John Gaw Meem’s vision inspires not only the architecture of Santa Fe but also of The Ridges.

When a third of the lots were sold the developer ceded the oversight of approving construction and adherence to the DRC to an Architectural Control Committee (ACC)  appointed by the newly-formed Ridges Landowners Association.(RLA).

Today, residents Debra Hagey, an experienced real estate agent and chair of the ACC, Gerry Fornell, a career building design consultant, and Carol Albrecht, a retired NM licensed general contractor, home builder & interior designer serve on the Architectural Control Committee. They offer their time and professional experience as a valuable service to their neighbors.

Guided by the Architectural Policies in the DRC and ACC Guidelines (see website) and as well as by the state, county, and insurance providers’ regulations, they, among other duties, review and approve blueprints for new construction including the kinds of materials and stucco colors used. They oversee any later additions, structures and outdoor improvements. Realtors attest to the fact that strongly enforced HOA covenants increase the appeal and property values in a development such as The Ridges. 

Each of us has reviewed and agreed to these very same Restrictive Covenants (also posted on the website) as a condition to closing the purchase our property and have pledged to abide by them out of respect for our neighbors.

I sincerely believe the beauty and appeal of Native Pueblo and Spanish Southwestern architecture, as well as faithful adherence to our Covenants, is one of the major attractions for settling here in The Ridges.   

Roc Curry

President of the RLA Board

Board Members

Picture of Roc Curry
Roc Curry


Picture of Paul Reimus
Paul Reimus

Vice President

Picture of Kathy Kubes
Kathy Kubes


Picture of Sue Egan
Sue Egan


Picture of Patricia Corres
Patricia Corres

Views Liaison


Read Document

Methods for the Prevention and Treatment of Bark Beetles

Read Document

Saving Our Precious Piñons

Picture of by Kathy Kubes
by Kathy Kubes

Pine bark beetles are small insects, generally black, hard-shelled and approximately 5 millimeters in length – about the size of of piece of cooked rice.  Bark beetles tunnel under the bark, cutting off the tree’s supply of food and water needed to survive.  Bark beetles can kill a tree in as little as two to four weeks during warmer months.  

Several years of winter drought and warmer temperatures have resulted in our lovely piñons being moisture-stressed and vulnerable to attack by these dreaded beetles.  These beetles have a high reproductive capacity and under optimal conditions can produce up to four generations per year!  Even healthy trees can be invaded very quickly when “mass attacked” by large numbers of bark beetles.  There was a terrible infestation here in the Ridges back in the early 2000s.  It was reported that one landowner lost 100 trees on their property that year.  

Hopefully we will have a wet, wet summer but nature does have her own agenda. How to detect pine bark beetle you ask? Look at the bark and notice if there are reddish-brown pitch tubes – these 1/2-3/4 inch blobs of sap on the outside of the bark are a sign that the beetles have successfully overtaken the tree.  Also, look on the tops of branches for tiny piles of sawdust.  These are after all, boring insects. Needles on dying piñon begin to turn a reddish-brown and usually start changing color at the top of the tree and then the color moves down.

Once bark beetles have fully infested a tree, little can be done to save it.  Because they reside in the protected part beneath the bark, it is difficult to control them.  Bark beetle infested limbs should always be pruned and disposed of and the entire tree may need to be removed if the damage is too extensive.   Should you decide to keep the wood for firewood it’s necessary to cover it with plastic for several weeks to kill the beetles.   It’s very important to have the dead tree removed because once the beetles kill a tree they move quickly to the surrounding trees.  Dead trees need to be removed because they are a fire hazard as well.  The sooner a dead tree is removed the better. There are no effective systemic pesticide treatments that will kill pine bark beetle larvae once they’re inside the tree.  Pesticide treatments are limited to only protecting trees from becoming infested not killing them once they’re inside the tree. There are many systemic treatments on the market that prevent beetle infestation.   However, doing this yourself is very time and work intensive.

There are numerous companies that spray for these pests.  Late fall and early spring are the best times to prune and spray.  It’s important, however, to make sure that they are licensed to use the proper treatment because spraying for bark beetle requires a particular license.  It’s also important to schedule your spray in the morning since the wind tends to get stronger as the day goes on.  Remove all pet bowls, bird feeders, water bowls, and close all windows during and after the spray for one hour. 

If you have questions or would like more information about this you may e-mail Kathy and/or Randy at

Ridges Photo Submission

Thank you, Roc and Carol Curry!

Please submit your photos here.

Table of Contents


Our roads are a major concern for all residents of The Ridges; caring for them takes the vast majority of our HOA fees. Deciding how to proceed with maintaining them affects the safety, property value and beauty of all our homes. Here are the facts to consider as we move ahead. 


  • The opinion of professionals in the industry is that the life expectancy of an asphalt road surface is 15 to 20 years based on variables such as the adequacy of the initial construction, weather, traffic volume and the adequacy of annual maintenance efforts.  
  • In 2003 Section 3 of Principe from Pan de Vida to Buen Pastor (1750’) was paved for $50,600 funded from reserve savings.
  • Section 3 of Principe has eight separate areas where there is a need to crack fill and apply a skin patch. These series of patches will cost about $4,625 plus tax this year.
  • Because of the Road Committee’s constant maintenance (crack fill, skin patch, edge repair shoulder repair, seal coat) resurfacing Section 3 from Pan de Vida to Buen Pastor could be delayed beyond the 20-year life expectancy until 2025 at a projected cost of $70,000 at today’s spot prices
  • In 2018 Section 1 & 2 of Principe de Paz from Hijo de Dios to Pan de Vida were re-surfaced for $160K after 20 years. The extensive maintenance and repair presently being employed may extend the road life up to 2038


  • The gravel roads were installed 30 years ago during the early development of the Ridges. Regular grading of the gravel has preserved these roads all these years. The gravel is moved back onto the road making a ridge for draining.
  • The budget priority has been to maintain the paved roads. The annual maintenance of the gravel roads includes grading them once or twice a year at a cost of $4,000 each time
  • However, most of the gravel on our roads has all but disappeared. The gravel roads are down to the sub-grade.  Further grading brings to the surface underlying large rocks.
  • Without the addition of a base course gravel the roads form ruts and wash- boarding that grading cannot repair. After a heavy snow the roads turn to mud creating more ruts and wash-boarding.
  • For example, in 2016 Immanuel Rd. needed four inches of new gravel mainly due to its steep slope and the $17,000 cost was covered by reserves. Immanuel Rd in not included in cost projections.
  • Two solutions: Re-Gravel roads or replace gravel with chemical treatment
  • Re-gravel process: Grade the road restore crown and clear ditch for drainage; Apply four inches of base coarse aggregate in on inch layers; water and roll each layer. Projected cost at today’s price for grading, aggregate, water, fuel, labor is $232K – $250K over three- year budget period. Maintain through grading once or twice a year at cost of $4,000 per time
  • Chemical treatment with magnesium chloride polymer: Grade road as described above; lay two inches base coarse aggregate, water and roll each one inch layer; add several coats of chemical treatment to bind aggregate; Repeat application of magnesium chloride every year or so until hard surface formed. Cost over three years about the same as four inches of  aggregate. Maintain through re-application of chemical treatment as needed at $25K plus per application
  • These costs and work would be spread over three- year budget period through annual dues
  • The Roads committee and Board of Directors will continue to research the cost of re-graveling, and/or possible alternative of a chemical treatment. This information will be provided to the residents along with breakdown of projected annual dues
  • Then, residents will decide how to proceed to maintain the condition of the gravel roads, to protect our property values, maintain our quality of life and insure there are safe roads protecting ourselves from liability risk as well as enhancing the beauty and appeal of the Ridges.


On Tuesday, May 4th from 10 am till 4 pm, Dr John Formby, PhD from the New Mexico Forestry Division will in the Ridges. He is a Forest Health Specialist/Entomologist. From 10 till 11 he will be our guest on a Zoom call to talk about the infestation of the Bark Beetle and to answer your questions. He will be available until 4pm to inspect the properties of residents’ who request a visit as a free service from the NM Forestry Division. The Zoom meeting information is included here and  will also e-mailed to all residents. If you want to schedule a visit with Dr Formby contact Open the attached PDF Document published by the Forest service entitled BARK BEETLE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

Robert Curry is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting with Dr John Formby .

Join Zoom Meeting on May 4th at 10AM

Meeting ID: 891 6149 3254
Passcode: 422232
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As we know, all our Ridges neighbors are special, but do you know what makes each person a stand-out? Try to match the names with the occupation, honor or curiosity listed below. How many do you know?

  1. Greg Cooper
  2. Suzan Zeder
  3. Jim Baker
  4. Donna Coleman
  5. Nancy Strauss
  1. Award-winning playwright
  2. Astronomer
  3. Dealer in antique maps
  4. Lived in former home of Perle Mesta
  5. Concert pianist

Hover / Tap for Answers


 1-C, 2-A, 3-B, 4-E, 5-D


Picture of By Karen Foss
By Karen Foss

Hello neighbors –

Thank you for your many good comments regarding our preview issue of The Views. We invited submissions from our talented residents and Brigitte Phillips came through with a timely article and stunning photos about beautifying your own little corner of the world. This talented gardener and photographer offers some tips for those of us aspiring to garden at our arid 7000 feet. Kathy Kubes authored the piece on preserving our treasured piñons. She outlines some simple but essential steps to keep our lovely piñons safe. This month we also feature, in Meet Your Neighbors, a conversation with Matt and Tamara Smith and their daughter Amaya. They built a new house in The Ridges two years ago. We also meet new neighbor Dennis McQuillan who has an exciting project underway to benefit all of us in The Ridges.

And do take a look at Who’s Who? See if you can match the Ridges’ residents with their special achievements. (And send me,, attn:Views, your suggestions for next time). And of course, Ridges President Roc Curry brings us more up-to-date info on our ever-developing roads situation, and Sue Egan covers the HOA board meeting. Thanks as always to West Cooper and Patricia Corres for their invaluable services.

We always welcome your questions, and suggestions.
Take care,
Karen Foss.


Everyone loves their car when they drive it off the dealer’s lot — but want to know who STILL loves their car – after it’s been totaled – and the owner has walked away without serious injury? Then you want to chat with Matthew Smith.  Matt is the claims representative with Geico Insurance for northern New Mexico and he’s seen it all, from fender benders on up. He’s the guy who goes out to look over the cars, boats, and motorcycles that have been wrecked or otherwise damaged. Not only does he have to stay up to date on today’s latest electronic –  and very expensive – automobile features in order to give accurate claims estimates, he also has to sometimes play detective if he suspects fraudulent claims. Matthew and his wife Tamara and their 13-year-old daughter, Amaya, moved into their home on Principe de Paz about two years ago. It took about a year to build and was a total family venture. Tamara’s brother was the builder and every one in the family took part in making their vision a reality. “There’s a lot of Smith labor in this house,” says Matt.

Tamara speaks with quiet pride of all the oversized interior doors that she stained, although she quickly acknowledges that Matt stained the grand entry door. Even Amaya got in on the action — selecting the tile and designing the fun tile “rug” in her bathroom and the brightly painted wall in her bedroom.

Tamara says, “That’s the only real pop of color in the house.” Tamara chose sophisticated neutrals for the other finishes.  Teenaged Amaya says she loved getting a close up view as their own family home grew from drawings on paper to a real house over the months of construction, even though she knows it meant a lot of work, stress, and endless decision-making for her parents. With their home complete, Matt, who grew up in south Texas, says he can’t believe he’s now buying rocks for landscaping along with the dozens of trees he’s planted.

The Smiths, like all of us, have had life disrupted by Covid over the past year. Matt was quarantined for a couple of months but is now back out in the field – and glad of it. He says he still takes precautions to keep his family safe. Tamara is a business analyst in the IT department of the NM Department of Taxation and Revenue.   She thinks working from home has been easiest on her. In fact, she’s in no hurry to go back to office life. Amaya, a seventh grader at the El Dorado Community School, has adapted to online learning, although of course she misses being in school with her friends. Fortunately, she plays many sports and takes part in theater, so she’s still had some social life, “With my mask on!” she adds. And not one to waste time, Amaya taught herself to walk on her hands while we were all in lock-down!

The Smiths, including Amaya, each answered with one word when asked what they like best about their life in The Ridges, “Quiet.”

Meet Your Neighbors - Dennis McQuillan

When you meet our new Ridges neighbor Dennis McQuillan you MAY meet the recently retired Chief Science Coordinator for the New Mexico Environment Department OR you might meet the fiddle player for the popular folk dance group, the Santa Fe Mega Band. His band has performed for the past five years at Santa Fe Fiesta, before Covid closed it down. They hope to soon resume their gigs twice a month at the Odd Fellows hall on Cerillos Road. While they specialize in Celtic folk music they also like to play northern New Mexican and Spanish fiddle music, and even Israeli, Scandinavian and American Blue Grass folk music.“As long as you can dance to it,” says Dennis. To be honest, you may meet Dennis under any one of several other personas: mountain biker, hiker, dad or gardener. He is a man of many interests and talents.

He purchased the former home of Karen and John Erickson in December of 2020. Dennis says he had learned his lesson after missing out on a couple of other quick-selling homes. Dennis toured the South Hijo de Dios home as soon as it came on the market and tendered his successful offer within 24 hours. No regrets.

Dennis had his wish list firmly in hand – more space than the home he was renting in Rancho Viejo, acreage of piñon and junipers, views and fireplaces. Check, check, check and check. His Ridges home fit him perfectly.

Dennis has not left his 43 year career in geology and environmental science completely behind; he’s currently launching a training and consulting business. He plans to offer continuing education credits for professionals as well as advise businesses and agencies with environmental issues.

And in his ‘spare’ time Dennis has examined his new neighborhood. He’s in the final stages of preparing a report on water sources, usage and quality in The Ridges. Watch this space! We’re planning to have a summary of the McQuillan report to share with you in our next newsletter. And even sooner Dennis is planning to conduct one or two walking tours in the area, explaining our fascinating topography and geology. We will try to publicize those opportunities with email blasts so all Ridges neighbors can learn more, and participate.

Dennis grew up on the east coast, came to the University of New Mexico at age 18, and never left. “I had frequently visited my uncle who worked at the labs at Los Alamos and I just really liked the area.”

Lucky Dennis and lucky us too – to have this accomplished new neighbor, ready to generously share his knowledge with us.

Dryland and Xeric Gardening in The Ridges

By Brigitte Philipp

Life, as we have known it has changed immeasurably during the past year of  pandemic, and yet—Nature, continues unabated while gardening remains America’s  favorite pass-time, especially now, as close to 80% of Americans garden.  It is early spring and the time to consider how your garden will grow is now. The  choices are many including a completely “natural” garden with native shrubs and  wildflowers; an ornamental, dryland, xeric/drought tolerant garden; or gardening  primarily in containers and even straw bales. 

We are most fortunate to live in The Ridges, where our near views are quite green as a  result of the wonderful junipers (Juniperus monosperma) and piñon pines (Pinus edulis) as  well as many other shrubs and wildflowers. 

The Ridges is located in USDA hardiness zone 6b at 7,000 feet and thus, we have a  short growing season. It is wise to remember that the last frost date in Santa Fe is 20  May. While it may be a bit early to obtain plants from garden centers, many plants can  be seeded indoors in March, April and beyond. 

The average annual rainfall is less than 15” in Santa Fe. According to the United States  Drought Monitor the Santa Fe, NM region currently is suffering from “extreme/ exceptional drought.” https:/ Therefore, it is important to  choose plant materials wisely and apply no-till, dryland/xeric gardening techniques.  The key is always to choose the right plant for the right place, planted at the right  time. 


Water is the source of all life on earth. The best and most economical form of  watering is via drip irrigation which can reduce water use by up to 90%. Rainwater  collection/harvesting is optimal. Greywater use (water recycling) is also an excellent  way to water gardens. Unfortunately, the U. S. only recycles 1% of its water, while  conversely, arid Israel recycles 86%. Regardless, there are countless trees, plants, and  herbs that flourish in no-till dryland or xeric gardens. After all, desert-dwelling, native  peoples worldwide have sustained themselves via drylands gardening for thousands of  years. In general, once established, plants should be watered once a week while  established shrubs and trees can be watered once or twice a month. Forming water  basins at the base of plants and trees keeps water from running off. 


While the best time to prune most trees and shrubs is late fall or winter, what can and  should be done early in the season is pruning of shrubs and some (late flowering)  trees as well as preparing beds and planters with compost, soil amendments and  mulch. The best time to prune our precious, low-maintenance, drought-tolerant piñon  pines is in winter or early spring before new growth begins. Partially cutting back the

candles on piñon pines will promote bushy growth. Be very careful about removing  the growth point at the tip of a piñon because doing so will cause the branch to die.  Birds, chipmunks, squirrels, black bears, mule deer rely on piñon nuts for food.  First, rub sterilize your pruning shears and saws with bleach or rubbing alcohol.  Shrubs, such as chamisas or roses can be pruned more severely than can trees. As in  tailoring or carpentry—“measure twice, cut once.” Take a look at your shrub or tree and  carefully assess its structure and how you wish it to look after pruning when it fills in.  Start with removing any dead or crossing branches. Be aware that on trees, once a  major branch is removed it will not regrow. Never remove more than 10% of any tree  at one time in spring. 


Water loss via evaporation, transpiration, run-off and deep percolation is an issue  worldwide, not just in drylands. Mulching with organic matter: Compost, straw, leaf  litter, pulled weeds, shredded (not colored) paper, etc. is critical and also improves soil  fertility. Living mulches, such as squash vines, are also most beneficial. 


Many ornamental, culinary, and medicinal herbs work well in xeric gardens including  oregano, rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme, tarragon, lemon verbena, garlic chives,  onion chives, lovage, borage, calendula, dandelion, savory, artemisia, bay, baptisia,  catmint, fennel, germander, white horehound, sweet marjoram, Mexican oregano,  santolina, yarrow, echinacea, costmary. Most all have beautiful blooms and are lovely  in the ground among ornamental plants, the veggie garden or in containers. Once  established, most herbs will need very little water. 

Drought and semi-drought resistant fruits & vegetables: (This list is by no means  exhaustive!)

Apricot, fig, grape, mulberry, plum, walnut. 

Arugula, asparagus, cabbage, chard, corn (sweet & seed), beans (all types pole & dry  beans), beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, chiles, cucumber, eggplant, endive, garlic, jicama,  okra, onions, numerous melons, leeks, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, spinach, squash  (summer & winter), sweet potato, tomatillo, turnips. 

Tomatoes, the most popular of vegetables/fruits, can be grown in heat and with  minimal irrigation once established: Most cherries like Sweet 100, yellow pear, etc.; the  Greek heritage “Santorini” cherry is considered fully drought tolerant in humid  climates. Try early & heat resistant varieties like Early Girl, Marvel Striped, Romas)  Cherokee Purple, Beef Steak, Black Krim. 

Heat or Hot Set Tomatoes: BHN 216, Florasette, Florida 91, Heatwave II, Solar

Fire, Summer Set, Sunchaser, Sun Leaper, Sunmaster, Sun Pride, Talladega.

Heirloom Tomatoes: Arkansas Traveler, Eva Purple Ball, Hazelfield Farm,  Homestead 24, Illinois Beauty, Neptune, Ozark Pink, Stupice, Tropic. 

Ornamentals, including many roses, that will thrive in New Mexico exist by the  thousands. Trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, cacti/succulents, desert accents, turf &  ornamental grasses, ground covers and vines are included in this extensive, Interactive  Website: “…In an effort to instruct New Mexicans in the art of using outdoor water more  efficiently, the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, in collaboration with the US Bureau of  Reclamation, is providing an expert-recommended list of low-water-use, native or adaptive plants  that thrive in our climate and save water….” 

Do try your hand at dry-land/xeric gardening for physical and mental health; for the  environment; more fun than going to the gym with the added bonus of blooms and  produce. 

For additional, specific information or if you have questions please check the  resources box or contact me.

Brigitte Philipp, MLA


Gardening Resources

By Brigitte Philipp

Brigitte Philipp, MLA

The Ridges, Santa Fe

Resident Landscape Architect

Neighborhood source of free, sustainable gardening information. Often has seeds  and plants to share.


A Guide to Native Plants for the Santa Fe Landscape (Santa Fe Master  Gardeners Assoc) List-2018.pdf

New Mexico’s Enchanted Xeriscape Guide

Santa Fe Botanical Garden (Museum Hill)

FREE Mulch (not composted)

Compost Available at the Wastewater Treatment Plant

Eldorado Composting (Instructions on how to compost)

High Country Gardens Native, drought tolerant plants & wildflower seeds.

Victory Seeds Offering rare, open-pollinated, non-GMO, non-hybrid, heirloom  seeds.

Fruition Seeds An excellent seed company. They provide terrific info via a  newsletter.

Tomato Fest Everything tomatoes including heirlooms, dwarfs & drought tolerants.

Seed Savers Exchange

Home Grown New Mexico HGNM produces events that educate and promote the  awareness of nutritious, home grown food.

Permaculture Design New Mexico Listing Permaculture practitioners in NM and  many other resources. 

The National Gardening Association NGA Features online gardening courses, a  terrific newsletter, along with robust guides for gardening with a variety of  fruits and vegetables.

Farmers’ Almanac Time-tested and generations approved, the Farmers’ Almanac is a  compendium of knowledge on weather, gardening, cooking, home remedies,  managing your household, preserving the earth, and more.  https://

March 2021 Newsletter

From the RIDGES
Your community newsletter

From your RLA Board


It was love at first sight.

For years Carol and I knew we wanted to retire to Santa Fe. Since 2007, we would escape several times a year from the Texas Gulf Coast to get our City Different fix. In our December 2012 visit we were determined to find our future retirement home. With our realtor, we searched all over Santa Fe for several days with disappointing results.

Carol & Roc Curry

Desperate, we broadened our search and found a new listing just out of town, As we turned off 285 onto Alma Road, we drove through THE RIDGES monuments. Continuing on Principe de Paz we were captivated by the lovely Santa Fe Pueblo Revival homes scattered among the pinon-juniper scrub grass high desert landscape. We loved the deep arroyos and rugged rock outcroppings along paved and gravel roads. But it was the VIEWS that took our breath away– the Jemez mountains draped in a blue haze, the Sandias close enough to touch, the Ortiz and San Pedro ranges, the Sangres capped with snow.- the valleys spread out before us. The vistas were intoxicating. When we stepped into the listed house, we KNEW we had found our home here in the Ridges. Many of you have expressed the similar experiences of the Ridges – love at first sight.

Our neighbors watched over our home several years until we moved here full time in November 2016. Then, we began to meet residents who generously volunteered their time to serve our community: the Roads and the Architectural committees , other board members and the then-president Victor Hesch. Looking through past issues of the community newsletters, I have seen names of residents who over the years dedicated their talent and time to establish the beauty of the Ridges, the safety and integrity of our roads, and the protection of all of us from legal liabilities. To all of you, today’s residents are indebted.

The revival of this newsletter will help foster a sense of community as we get to know our neighbors, become better informed of budget challenges facing us, and together, explore available options. We hope this newsletter will help keep us informed and enable us to work together, going forward to preserve and maintain the value of our homes, the integrity and safety of our roads, and the quality of our lives here in the Ridges.

Roc Curry
President of the Board of Directors


The Ridges welcomes new neighbors Dennis and Kris McQuillan at 3 South Hijo de Dios, the former home of the Ericsons.

The Mark Reinwald family purchased Doug and Ann Smith’s home at 134 Pan de Vida, relocating here from New York.

The Derek Johnsons recently completed building their new home at 9 N Hijo de Dios.

Chris and Michael Mele-Wagner broke ground on their new home on Pan de Vida. They hope to move in by early next year.

Early last year Rodney and Libby Crabtree purchased Steve and Marci King’s home at 27 Pan de Vida and are settled in.


Karen Ericson has moved from the Ridges to another Santa Fe home in town.

Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Report:

Picture of By Debra Hagey
By Debra Hagey

ACC Chair

9 N Hijo de Dios: The Johnson project received a certificate of occupancy in early February. An approved masonry and stucco courtyard wall is in process. The home is lovely. We look forward to welcoming our new neighbors.

175 Principe de Paz: Gabrielle Petrissans’ studio has been completed subject to installation of an adobe wall connecting the studio to the residence.

19 Pan de Vida: The plans for Chris and Michael Mele-Wagner were approved by the ACC in the Fall of 2020. The site excavation began in January with the footings going in most recently. The project is well under way and will be a great addition to the Ridges neighborhood.

Michael Mele-Wagner

Board Members

Picture of Roc Curry
Roc Curry


Picture of Paul Reimus
Paul Reimus

Vice President

Picture of Kathy Kubes
Kathy Kubes


Picture of Sue Egan
Sue Egan


Picture of Patricia Corres
Patricia Corres

Views Liaison


A year ago, long-time resident Michel Marx died at age 93. His remarkable life is recorded in the book he wrote in 2012, THE HIDDEN RIVER. He fought in the French resistance, was captured and tortured by the Gestapo and survived a concentration camp. After WWII he emigrated to the U.S. He received many honors and medals for his exploits during the war including rescuing over 50 U.S. and Brit airmen. He was active in the Ridges, serving on various boards. We offer condolences to his wife Olga.

John Ericson passed away this past May at age 92. He and Karen lived in the Ridges since 1996. John and Karen were Hollywood actors in movies and on TV. John and Karen designed and built several homes in the Ridges. They extended their acting careers on the Santa Fe stage. John and Karen continued to receive fan mail from around the world up to the present. Our condolences to Karen.

Fred Strauss passed away this past April 24th at age 72.  He and Nancy were both in TV production in New York. Fred was a producer for the NPR show SESAME STREET and ABC’s GMA. They re-located to Santa Fe after early retirement and continued producing commercials for non-profits like Christus St Vincent Hospital.  They moved into the Ridges in 2005.  Fred served as co-president of the Ridges Board in 2008 -09. Our condolences to Nancy.

Lucilo and Patricia Corres moved to the Ridges in August of 2019 from Houston. Lucilo was born in 1942 in Vitoria, Spain. He was an independent journalist, traveling extensively in Latin American before coming to the U.S.where he earned a B.A with a triple major in Spanish, philosophy and psychology. He continued with PhD studies in the Romance languages at Ohio State. On January 6th Lucilo suffered a severe heart attack and despite prompt EMT response did not survive. Our condolences to Patricia.

Ridges Photo Submission

Thank you, Larry Ross!

Please submit your photos here.


Ruts forming on N Hijo De Dios after snow melt.


  • All the Ridges roads are private with public access.
  • The 1990 plat shows that all our roadways have 50-ft-wide private access and utility easement across all 85 lots.
  • The Ridges Landowners’ Association (RLA) maintains the road system, including the easement onto residents’ property.
  • The RLA ‘s oversight and maintenance of the roads supports vehicle safety, pedestrian safety, fire prevention, property values and reduces liability to both the Association and to individual land owners.
  • The RLA maintains a safety zone of five (5) to (8) feet from the edge of the road to establish a safe pedestrian walking area, a snow removal accumulation area, and to facilitate ice melting and to reduce the incursion of weeds onto the road edge (see Roadside Easement Vegetation Policy).

ASPHALT ROADS-8,460 feet

  • Life expectancy of our paved road is in the range of 15-20 years depending on weather and continued success of maintenance.
  • All paved roads deteriorate over time due to oxidation which hardens the surface breaking up the road’s integrity. They require routine maintenance to extend their life and to postpone full replacement.
  • Maintenance includes: mowing, snow removal, crack-fill, skin-patch/edge repair, shoulder repair, seal coat and surface coating. The road expenses are covered by both annual and special assessments when the reserves are depleted.
  • Alma and the three sections of Principe de Paz were paved over several years (1992- 1998) so each section has its own maintenance schedule.
  • For example, Alma was paved by the developer in 1992 and required re-surfacing 16 years later in 2008 at RLA expense.

GRAVEL ROADS- 10,900 feet

  • The best case life-span of gravel roads is 20 to 25 years.
  • The gravel roads were laid 30 years ago by the developer.
  • Normal Maintenance includes: mowing and snow removal when needed, fall and spring grading to reshape the road crown for proper drainage.
  • After 30 years our “gravel” roads have effectively become dirt roads with just a scattering of gravel.
  • Without gravel aggregate base, a dirt road deteriorates exposing the native earth leading to ruts and wash-boarding; Grading exposes large native stones
  • After a heavy snow fall, the dirt road gets slushy; traffic leaves permanent deep tire ruts and causes wash-boarding.
  • All of our unpaved roads will need extensive work with total re-application of 3-4 inches of a gravel aggregate base within the next 2-3 years,
  • The roads committee is researching several options, including a chemical treatment, which will be presented to the Board and the RLA members next month along with the projected costs.

The Roads Committee oversees road maintenance and consists of: Mark Glaze, Charlie Whiteley and Greg Cooper. They  constantly monitor road conditions, report to the Board of Directors with recommendations and cost projections.  They also contact, schedule and supervise sub-contractors. Thank you to our hard working road committee! NEXT ISSUE ROADS FUND FACTS


Table of Contents

The Poop Fairy

We have bad news for some dog owners — the Poop Fairy doesn’t live here in The Ridges. Consider this a cordial reminder to all dog owners to clean up after your pets, on the pavement and off. Leaving a rock or a stack of sticks on top of your dog’s “deposit” does not count. Our roads are popular with exercise walkers in our community and they’ve reported increasingly frequent encounters with dog waste, creating an unsightly and unsanitary environment. PLEASE remember to carry those poop bags and take a minute to use them. It will make a more pleasant outdoor experience for dogs, walkers and all Ridges homeowners.

More Debris

And speaking of debris –  on occasion, beer cans, soda cans, cigarette packs and the like show up along our roads. We can’t blame the dogs for those and surely they’re not left there by any proud Ridges residents? So a big thank you and a Good Neighbor Award goes out to everyone who takes the time to pick up such trash to help keep our views natural and pristine.


The Ridges Board of Directors last met on January 26.

West Cooper was on the Zoom call to show us the updated website that has been launched. If you haven’t logged in yet, please do, and register and update your password. West did an outstanding job and we think you will like the new version; the website is very user-friendly and easy to follow.

The board also discussed the PNM Remediation Issue and sent another letter to PNM addressing the fluid spills, damage to a quarter mile of the asphalt on the edge of the road, and gravel replacement on Rey de Reyes and Agua Viviendo. PNM claimed that they would leave the road in the same or better condition than before.

The other main topic was the condition of the gravel roads and how to best maintain them. The Roads Committee will explore several options; basically adopting a chemical treatment or replacing the gravel altogether. A full report will be given to the Board in March projecting costs and effectiveness of the various approaches. This information will be communicated to all residents, and their feedback will be sought.

The Board approved publishing this on-line quarterly newsletter to all residents.

The full minutes and financial report will be posted on the Ridges website.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for March 8th.

The Ridges Board Secretary
Sue Egan


As editor of our revived community newsletter, I am delighted to serve along with our resident tech guru West Cooper. West’s skills are well known to Ridges’ residents. He’s the designer and caretaker of our handsome Ridges website. If you’re not familiar with it, do take a look at, and sign up.

Picture of Karen Foss
Karen Foss
Picture of West Cooper
West Cooper

Most of our newsletter content will be created by you and your talented neighbors: I will serve largely as the keeper of commas and capitalization. This edition is our introductory issue. In the future your newsletter will be published each quarter, to follow closely after the board’s quarterly meeting. You can expect a letter from board president Roc Curry, a summary of recent board business from board secretary Sue Egan, an introduction to one or more of your Ridges neighbors in our Meet Your Neighbor section and other articles on topics of interest, usually penned by your neighbors.

We welcome your ideas and submissions and we also encourage you to send your beautiful area photos that we may share and credit to you.

Our hope with “Views from the Ridges” is for all of us to get better acquainted and to stay better informed. It truly will be YOUR community newsletter. Send your ideas and submissions to Please include VIEWS in the subject line.

I look forward to our time together, and I hope “Views” will become a valuable part of your Ridges experience.

Karen Foss.


Take a look at this photo of Mark and Lynn Glaze because it’s about the only time you’ll see either of these two standing still.

Mark & Lynn Glaze

Lynn and Mark say a mutual love of travel and science brought them together. They first met through AOL where they learned their interests and attitudes lined up nearly perfectly. Mark was living here in Santa Fe although based in Memphis TN for FedEx, Lynn was a banker in Birmingham, Alabama. Mark detoured home from a trip to Paris for their first face to face meeting and within a year they were married.

Finding their home in The Ridges may have been made easier by the fact that Mark was living in Cimarron and, as a runner, frequently ran the hills of The Ridges. They moved into their home at #1 Agua Viviendo in 2004 and Lynn says by now they’ve redone nearly every square inch. Mark recently retired after 31 years as a pilot for FedEx (see attached photos and dramatic video of his final landing). When you get that good news that your Covid Vaccine is ready, you may want to thank Mark; his final cargo included some of the coveted vaccine. FedEx celebrated his long career with a farewell worthy of a hero. As the former Marine fighter pilot and American Airlines pilot landed his FedEx MD-11 for the final time at the Orlando CA airport the local fire department was on hand to spray his craft with 3000 gallons of water. Not to extinguish any flames, of course, but as a dramatic tribute to his career. You may recognize Mark’s plane – it’s the same one flown by Tom Hanks in “Castaway’. Mark says despite closing on a satisfying career he does not miss flying. The responsibility and stress take a toll he says and he’s content to stay on the ground and not live out of a suitcase. Mark has turned some of his energy at home to being the main cook for the couple, picking up some tips from time spent in the Coyote Café kitchen over the years. Here in The Ridges Mark is well-known for his work as head of the Roads Committee.

Lynn Glaze was in the news a few months ago as she was honored by the Santa Fe New Mexican as one of the “Ten Who Made a Difference” (also honored were Ridges neighbors Henry and Tina Lanman, see The Santa Fe New Mexican). Lynn was lauded for more than 16 years of volunteer work at the non-profit Solace Crisis Treatment Center. The agency is devoted to bringing therapy services and support to victims of trauma who suffer from PTSD – whether due to sexual violence, military or police service, human trafficking or those who have been involved in a fatal accident. Before devoting her time to supporting Solace, Lynn worked in banking and finance and drew upon that expertise while serving as a Solace board member during a major fundraising campaign. That successful 2012 campaign is credited with stabilizing the non-profit’s finances. Lynn is also trained as a victim’s advocate and can often be found volunteering on the Solace hotline for the least desirable – and most needed- shifts: weekends, holidays and overnight. Calls to the Solace Hotline have doubled in the past year and need for all services has grown more than 30% during this time of Covid. Lynn is there whenever trauma strikes and people are in need of support. Lynn says she grew up a ‘military brat’ with frequent moves and spent most of her childhood in England. She credits her military father and grandfather with instilling a sense of service in her. And she says her grandfather gave her a most influential book that has proved invaluable, “The Gentle Art of Interrogation.”
Lynn’s first career, after college, was also in flying – she was a flight attendant for American Airlines before pursuing her finance career. Lynn says among the things she learned in that early career is – the behavior of the flying public is most erratic during a full moon. She actually kept track!

Today Lynn and Mark Glaze agree, with the turmoil they see in the world at large, they “thank the stars for living here” in the natural beauty and peace of The Ridges.